Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is famous for its stunning beaches, such as the Shipwreck (or Navagio) beach, which is only accessible by boat and features a rusty shipwreck on the shore. Zakynthos is also a popular destination for party-goers, especially in the resort town of Laganas, where bars and clubs offer non-stop entertainment well into the night.
However, like any other tourist destination, Zakynthos has some potential risks and challenges that visitors should be aware of and prepared for. Here are some safety tips and precautions to take when visiting Zakynthos, based on information from
Scams are not very common in Zakynthos, but it is always good to be vigilant and cautious when dealing with strangers or service providers. Some possible scams to watch out for are:
- Taxi drivers overcharging or taking longer routes. Always agree on the fare before getting in and use a metered taxi if possible.
- Boat tour operators charging extra fees or not delivering what they promised. Always read the fine print and compare prices and reviews before booking a tour.
- Street vendors or beggars trying to sell you fake or stolen goods or asking for money. Avoid engaging with them and politely decline their offers.
- ATM skimmers or card readers stealing your information or money. Always use ATMs inside banks or reputable establishments and cover your PIN when entering it.
Theft is not a major problem in Zakynthos, but petty crimes such as pickpocketing or bag-snatching can happen, especially in crowded areas or at night. To prevent theft, you should:
- Keep your valuables in a safe place or leave them at your hotel. Do not carry large amounts of cash or expensive items with you.
- Use a money belt or a cross-body bag to store your essentials. Do not put them in your back pocket or an easy-to-open backpack.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions. Do not leave your belongings unattended or out of sight.
- Lock your doors and windows when leaving your room or car. Do not leave anything valuable inside your car.
Driving in Zakynthos can be challenging and risky, especially for inexperienced drivers. The roads are often narrow, winding, steep, and poorly maintained. The traffic can be chaotic and the drivers can be aggressive or reckless. The driving rules and regulations may differ from your home country. To drive safely in Zakynthos, you should:
- Rent a car from a reputable company and check the condition of the vehicle before driving. Make sure you have insurance and a valid driver’s license.
- Drive on the right side of the road and follow the speed limits and traffic signs. Use seat belts and helmets at all times.
- Avoid driving at night or in bad weather conditions. Use headlights and caution when driving in the dark or in fog.
- Avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol limit in Greece is 0.05%.
Besides scams, theft, and driving, there are some other tips and precautions to take when visiting Zakynthos, such as:
- Be respectful of the local culture and customs. Dress modestly when visiting churches or monasteries. Do not litter or damage the natural environment.
- Be careful of the sun and heat. Wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and protective clothing. Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydration.
- Be aware of the potential hazards at the beaches. Follow the lifeguards’ instructions and do not swim alone or too far from the shore. Beware of strong currents, jellyfish, sea urchins, rocks, or cliffs.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Have a list of important phone numbers and addresses, such as your embassy, the police, the hospital, or your hotel. Have a first-aid kit and some basic medications with you.
Zakynthos is a wonderful island to visit, with many attractions and activities to enjoy. However, it is also important to be safe and responsible when traveling there. By following these safety tips and precautions, you can have a memorable and hassle-free vacation in Zakynthos.